Feeding Time on Monkey Island

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This Bay Area foursome is definitely weird and undeniably talented, but accessibility proves to be another story. Apparently, the fiery M.I.R.V. must be seen to be disbelieved, with live shows the stuff of legend: when performing with the warhorse Cheap Trick, M.I.R.V. made Robin Zander a fan by breaking into "O Sole Mio" (not included here). Maybe Zander saw traces of his hero Roy Wood's eccentric genius in this band, but M.I.R.V. do not have Wood's gift of melody. Here, a remarkable multi-image sleeve houses a Primus-ish you-had-to-be-there slab of wax. Admittedly, Beavis and Butt-Head fave "Monkey Boy" rocks, as does "Unabomber." The little "GTO" spurts out a gear-head version of "In Every Dream Home a Heartache," while intense "Pink Elephants" trample over Disney's beloved pachyderm. But rocking out is one thing, and actually being funny quite another. Guess listeners should be thankful these powerhouse Dr. Dementos don't let their bad taste run completely wild. Or maybe they should. Feeding Time on Monkey Island breeds a toxic gumbo that's hard to digest and requires repeat listening; a fringe commitment to be sure, so you make the call (again, you still walk away with that remarkable cover).

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